Last day in Hong Kong for our 5-day holiday break!
A quick recap of what we did in Hong Kong over the last 5 days.
Day 1 08/12 - flew off from Singapore to Hong Kong on the 6.50am UA flight the morning after the Singapore Marathon. So, my legs and calf were still arching somewhat. Good news was: the petroleum gel worked perfectly and I have NO chaffing at all for the whole race!
The hotel was better than anticipated according to our youngest daughter so it showed that good value accommodation is possible even in land scare Hong Kong!
We had dinner with my Otago University classmate, Alvin Wong and his wife, Christine. It is a very long and valued friendship. As usual, Alvin picked the best food place to eat! A wonderful meeting besides the fabulous 'rice in the chicken' that Haw Ngee said is simply great!
Day 2 09/12 - off to Macau for a day trip. Got into a bit of a bother with Zheng Jie's temporary passport as it did not state Macau as one of the places to visit on it! Fortunately Macau allowed a 60-day stay within the expiry date of his old passport, which he brought along, and he was allowed in! Macau Venetians is simply huge! A man-made wonder for sure and good for a visit or two. It suffered from the financial tsunami and announced a cut in work force of 2000 per the gondolier who peddled the gondola in the 'artificial' canal of Venice inside the Venetians! Went to Macau Tower to witness some folks bungy jumped. And rounded off with a Portuguese dinner and a walk and shop tour near the famous 'Da Shan Ba' monuments. The kids are relatively please with the tiring day tour to Macau. Which is good!!
Day 3 10/12 - off to Lantau Island to visit the world tallest outdoor sitting bronze Buddha by MTR but could not take the cable car as it was under maintenance. So we had to take the bus to reach the place. After the Buddha statue visit, we took another bus to the famous Tai O fishing village or publicized as 'The Venice of the Oriental Pearl". It is an interesting place to visit as you can still see the houses on tilts along the shores. Some folks have already moved away with their old houses crumbling and in tattered while some folks are still living in similar quarters and rely on fishing and tourism to make some money. We took a short cruise in a small speed boat to get an overall perspective of the place. After that we took another bus from Tai O to Mei Wo ferry to catch a ferry to Central Ferry Terminal. So, we did Tram, MTR, Bus and Ferry in 1 day! Cool!
We have a late dinner with Alvin, Christine and their son, Louis, who just got back from Dunedin, New Zealand, that night. They came straight from the airport to meet up with us and hve dinner! Louis is a fine young man and I liked him. We had steam boat Hong Kong style and rounded off with coffee at ShangriLa Thsim Sha Tsui East at almost 1am!
Day 4 11/12 - off to Ocean Park in the morning, or rather late morning! The place has been upgraded quite a bit since our last visit in 1992-3! We got to see the Giant Pandas that were part of the gifts by the Chinese government to the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) during the handover of Hong Kong by the British government back to China in 1997! Cute pandas for sure though one of them actually bit the care-giver just a week or two ago (and the authorities are still investigating what happened then). Took the thrill rides with ZJ while Haw Ngee and Huijun took their separate rides to optimize time. The final act was to watch the world famous marine show with Dolphines and Sealions. The killer whale that I saw in 1992-3 passed away and they did not get a replacement for it. It is a pity but such is life and death! Met with ex-Motorolans for dinner near Time Square, which is also near our hotel! It is always great to meet up with old friends, especially when they meet Haw Ngee and the kids for the 1st time. After that, we (or Haw Ngee and the kids really) went to the Temple Street to do their shopping! We got back at around 1am too!
Day 5 12/12 - we decided to take it easy and do some last minute shopping before meeting Alvin and Louis for lunch. It was a fruitful shopping spree as we got most of the stuffs we set out to get! Have another beautiful lunch and I must say for me to be able to taste the food, the chefs had done a great job! That's how good the food is! The trouble or by-product is I found myself grew heavier by 2kg in this 5-day after the marathon!! We took off for the airport and was pleasantly surprised to get an upgrade to Business Class by United Airlines (UA)! Unfortunately the flight was delayed by almost 1 hr and we only got home by 13/12 1am! Well, you win some and you lose some! It was great to see Huimin came to the airport to fetch us! We got to bed around 4am.
A few words to describe the holiday break - Good Break! Great Friendship renewed and strengthened! Look forward to more good years with these wonderful friends!